Orphaned Memories

Dongyan Chen, Ivetta Sunyoung Kang, Elena Amabili

from: 15.06.2019   to: 22.06.2019

Group exhibition presented as part of the official program of the 48 Stunden Neukölln Festival.
15 – 22 June 2019, 2-7pm
Opening: Friday, June 14th 2019, 6-9pm


It is impossible to retain a past thought, to seize a future thought, and even to hold onto a present thought.

The Diamond Sutra

 

The group exhibition Orphaned Memories explores the interplay between object, place, memory, imagination and time in light of the “Future III” theme of the 2019 48h NK Festival. It is examined in the work of Ivetta Sunyoung Kang, (Canada/South Korea, installation), Dongyan Chen, (UK/Singapore, installation) and Elena Amabili, (Italy/Germany, photography), who regard it through the lens of psycho-geography, materiality, ideology and psychology.

In the presented works, the historic, contemporary and futuristic often converge in surprising and enlightening ways. Next to cultural-historical processes, psychological standpoints on our own image and being may be subject to similar re-interpretations at various points in time.

Reframing cultural and personal memory is an ongoing process. Memory lies in archival material or obsolete media, open to salvaging or reinterpretation. Memory lives in the body and the mind too. Being reconstructed continuously, it is known to play uncanny tricks, as it often converges with fantasy. Surrealism, mysticism and psychoanalysis explore ways to retrieve lost impulses and reinterpret them.

Memory also lives on as material, in discarded media that can be reclaimed, brought to life and reinterpreted by artistic means by reframing still highly-charged psycho-geographic relics that speak of forgotten ideals and ideologies.

Orphaned Memories occupies itself with such memories, and fragments of utopian designs and expectancies for the future that have lost their origin but are still alive in one way or another. It shows highly imaginative ways of retrieving, questioning and responding to them.

Both past and future share an imaginative mental space in which self-experience becomes constituted by a mix of memory, imagination, and our expectancies of the future. Within this speculative space, how we view ourselves today may be dramatically changed by processes of introspection, reinterpretation and catharsis. Nothing is truly fixed. What we may have lost could still be found.

Participating Artists:

Ivetta Sunyoung Kang

An art installation using analog film, projection, tread.
Ivetta Kang – Today’s glance with the formerly immobilized scene, sculpture and single-channel video, 35mm found footage, thread, photo frame, sweater, LED lights, sound, color, 35minutes, loop, 2018, work- in-progress

Ivetta Sunyoung Kang is a Montreal-based South Korean multidisciplinary artist working across film, video, video installation, performance and expanded cinema. Interested in cinema as a durational art form, and specifically moments where the invisible transitions to the visible, Kang finds meaning in the imprinted ‘dead memories’ of found footage. She rejuvenates these cultural relics while subverting their initial commercial purpose and normative or ideological content. Her art project Whispering and Unfolding, developed during her artist residency at SomoS, uses 35mm motion picture film as sculptural material for an installation, in an attempt at artistic “resistance against the major cinema industry and the primary usage of movie footage,” developing an alternative, experimental and personal definition of cinema.
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Dongyan Chen

Video collage still.
Dongyan Chen – J’s Dream Universe, video/installation, 2018

In the installation J’s Dream Universe, multi-disciplinary artist Dongyan Chen explores the making and reconstructing of memories and dreams through sound, installation, photography, video, painting and drawing, in the pursuit of constructing art experiences that engage audiences deeply.

A SomoS Artist-in Residence, Chen is interested in the way texts, images and sounds can work together in montages as a process of remaking and reconstructing memories, comparing this to processes such as dreaming or psycho-analysis. Dongyan Chen aims to create an experience “that can lead the audience into a dream-like world, provoking self-revelation among them.”
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Elena Amabili

Brightly-colored special edition Polaroid of Soviet architectural detail by Elena Amabili.
Elena Amabili – Slavaroid – Instant East, 2017, special edition Polaroid

Elena Amabili’s ongoing photographic series focus on political geography, Socialist architecture, Béton brut and urban exploration. Her psycho-geographic project Slavaroid – Instant East catalogs lost, forgotten and derelict spaces in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc. Blurry, imperfect, but in their brightly colored appearance uncannily futuristic looking rather than nostalgic, these analog instant photos fixate traces of a world that no longer exists but still exerts influence. From Armenia to Dresden, from Moscow to Latvia, from Kazakhstan to Moldova, these relics are here to stay and suggest that any (perfect) future is only ever possible with solid memory and an understanding of the past.
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Ivetta Sunyoung Kang’s participation was supported by the

Arts Council Korea

Arts Counsel Korea.


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